Holley says he turned down Connacht
Rugby:Former Ospreys coach Sean Holley has claimed he turned down the opportunity to succeed head coach Eric Elwood at Connacht next season.
The BBC pundit, who was with Ospreys for nine years before leaving in February 2012, applied for the job, but said today the "timing" wasn't right.
Former Ireland outhalf Elwood is in the position until the end of the season.
"No head coach position should be taken for granted ... and I am flattered and honoured to have received the Connacht offer," Holley told BBC Wales Sport. "However, my decision is based purely on the timing and my current personal circumstances."
He said "the professionalism, vision and drive of the Connacht board in particular has made this a tough decision," and added: "I remain committed to rugby and am excited about some opportunities that are on the horizon."
Connacht interviewed a six-man shortlist for the position.
Former Auckland Blues head coach Pat Lam was believed to be the favourite as recently as Saturday, with an announcement to be made possibly as soon as the end of this week.
The 34-times capped ex-Samoa captain, who also played once for the All Blacks, was part of the Samoan management team on their successful November tour, which featured a win over Wales and earned them a top eight ranking. Out of full-time work since being let go by the Blues last July, Lam’s official title on the November tour was “attack and mentor” coach.
Also shortlisted were former Wasps and Sale coach Tony Hanks, former England outhalf and current skills coach at Clermont Alex King, and current Connacht assistants Billy Millard and Dan McFarland.